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June 20, 2017 
For Immediate Release From WNCAP
Western North Carolina AIDS Project Announces 2017 Signature Piece Winner: 
Linda Gritta
WNCAP Contact to set up interviews: Pam Siekman, 828-335-6680
WNCAP Contact for Dropbox photos:  Lucy Doyle, 828-252-7489
Linda Gritta "Red is Feeling Brave"The Western North Carolina AIDS Project is gearing up for their annual fundraiser, the Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala, to be held September 23rd at the Asheville Event Centre.  The excitement was high last week as the 2017 Signature Piece winner was chosen in the juried competition.  Pam Siekman, the auction chairperson announced today that the winner of this prestigious recognition is Linda Gritta. Her winning entry is 36” x 36” abstract, mixed media on canvas titled “Red is Feeling Brave.”  Gritta, known for her masterful use of color and shapes, brought it all together in this exciting submission.  “Red is Feeling Brave” is a dance of reds and it speaks to the chance each of us has to become more and more our true selves with each day we are given.  Linda is a longtime supporter of WNCAP donating to the Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala for many years, and she was the 1st runner up in the Signature Piece Competition of 2016.  
First runner up in the competition this year was Spencer Herr for his 5’ x 6’ acrylic and graphite on canvas Titled “Beginning”, and second runner up was Colleen Webster for her 20” x 24” framed oil on canvas panel titled “The Drum Circle”.   All three of these images as well as all Signature Piece entries are now displayed on the WNCAP website at  These three pieces of winning art will be on display in the storefront windows of Tops for Shoes, June 19th – July 10th at 27 North Lexington Ave, downtown Asheville.   
The jurors for this year’s competition were Constance Williams, 2016 Signature Piece winner, Virginia Derryberry, College Art Association 2017 Distinguished Teaching of Art, Professor of Art, Emeritus UNC Asheville, and Erin Kellem, Artist and Curating Manager Woolworth Walk.  WNCAP received 13 submissions from across our region as Signature Piece entries. “The Raise Your Hand Auction & gala is one of the agency’s largest fundraisers and is expected to be an early sellout again this year,” stated Siekman.  “Funds raised through this event go directly to the operational support of the agency.  WNCAP provides HIV/AIDS education, outreach, and advocacy.  With an emphasis on Case Management services provided to clients in 18 counties of Western North Carolina, WNCAP helps people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus to live more healthy and engaged lives by removing barriers to medical and establishing access to life-saving medications” states Siekman. Those who attend the auction will be enticed to bid on elaborate dinner packages by Asheville’s favorite Chef’s, antique collections, fine wines, jewelry, getaway vacations, and an impressive collection of local art.  Andrew Brunk, President of Brunk Auctions will once again take the stage for the Live Auction portion of the gala, encouraging the crowds to bid high and to bid often for a most important cause.
Tickets for the 2017 Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala are $150.00 and go on sale July 1 at or by calling 828-252-7489.  To donate an item to the auction or to be a cash sponsor of the event, please contact Ayana at the WNCAP office, 828-252-7489.
Western North Carolina AIDS Project  •  554 Fairview Rd.  •  Asheville  •  NC  •  28803
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